July 31, 2006

The USPTO recently announced that starting on August 1st, all hearings that are conducted by the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) will no longer be closed to the public. The USPTO website will post a schedule of upcoming hearings, and the public will be admitted on a first-come, first served basis. According to Jon Dudas, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, "The USPTO is committed in continuing to improve transparency in our operations to enhance quality and public confidence,” and “[t]he public's attendance at hearings conducted by the BPAI and TTAB is another way USPTO is providing its customers insight into the patent and trademark examination processes." The two Boards currently share 4 conference rooms, which can seat anywhere from 5 to 55 people depending on the specific room.

Official Gazette Announcement: LINK
USPTO Announcement: LINK
Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) Website: LINK
Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) Website: LINK

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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